The end of roaming charges within the EU has to be welcomed bringing to an end at long last the guessing game of how much you were paying to call home or the Spanish restaurant down the street. From last week if you are abroad or down the road in County Louth or even in Warrenpoint/ Kilkeel picking up the Irish mobile networks, you don’t have to worry about being charged more than you were at home.

In fact if you are in Warrenpoint on an Irish network you now have the added luxury of phoning anywhere in the EU as part of your plan with no extra charges if texts and calls are included in your pay monthly or pay as you go plan!

It’s easy to forget though that phoning south of the border from Newry with a UK mobile provider will still cost you and in some cases cost you dearly. A ten minute call from Newry to Dundalk from a Vodafone pay monthly contract phone without any add-ons will cost you a whopping £15. It’s actually cheaper to ring from a Vodafone Pay as You Go contract!

To avoid these charges you need to purchase an add on from your network, adding to the monthly cost of your contract.

Pointing out that these regulations apply to roaming charges and not calling charges Mickey Brady MP stressed that border communities will “still suffer” as calls and texting are still classed as international. 

 “Indeed there are still many issues that need addressed island wide ahead of Brexit, although it is the border areas that have faced unfair charges and penalties for far too long. Once again border communities will still suffer.

“Customers should check with their network provider to ensure they are not caught out and to understand what deal they have with their provider”.

MLA Cathal Boylan also warned customers to watch out for unexpected costs but  praised the implementation of the EU directive in which all the networks must now allow customers to use their inclusive minutes, and data within the EU at no additional costs. 

Branding this as a victory for consumers, particularly those plagued with roaming charges in our border communities, Boylan also warned of hidden costs. 

He said “I am pleased that roaming charges have finally been eliminated. It has been a long process and I pay tribute to our MEPs who have been fighting hard to bring about the end of such charges. Sinn Féin through our European and domestic representatives been campaigning for the abolition of roaming charges for over 10 years. 

“It is regrettable it has taken this long. Roaming charges have been a continuous probnlem for the thousands living and travelling along the border.  It is equally regrettable that this legislation may no longer apply to us after 2019 with our subsequent removal from the European Union."

 

Mobile Network Costs to Phone other EU Countries from UK

Tesco Mobile: Phone (Landline or Mobile): 25p per minute Text: 20p
Three: Phone (Landline or Mobile): 46p per minute Text: 25.2p
EE: Phone (Landline or Mobile): 50p per minute Text: 35p
Virgin Mobile: Phone (Landline or Mobile): 60p per minute Text: 30p
O2: Phone (Landline or Mobile): 65p per minute Text: 35p
Vodafone: Phone (Landline or Mobile): 1.50p per minute Text: 35p